Friday, November 12, 2004

Pet hate...slip cases on CDs. The wrap around cardboard things designed to make the customer feel that they're getting a "quality" product....just another piece of paper to get lost under the seat in the car

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Extended Play 101104 on George FM

MFSB-The Right Track-TSOP-1973 The Salsoul Orchestra-Salsoul Rainbow (Danny Krivit Re-edit)-Salsoul-1983 Sins of Satan-Dance & Free Your Mind-Buddah-1975 Jocelyn Brown-I Wish You Would (Dub)-Vinyl Dreams-1984 Undisputed Truth-Undisputable (Carl Craig Dub)-Moxie-2004 Pete Rock & CL Smooth-They Reminisce Over You (Instrumental)-Elektra-1992 Royale Delight-A Freak For You (Fon Force Mix)-Scorpogemi-1985 Terry Billy-Don’t Lock Me Out (Mantronik Full Bass Club)-Atlantic-1987 Lola -Wax The Van (Jon’s Dub)-Jump Street-1985 2 Puerto Ricans, A Blackman & a Dominican-Do It Properly-Fierce-1989 Shay Jones-Are you Gonna Be There (Hurley’s House Mix)-ID-1990 Lil Louis & The World-I Called You (Saxy Mix)-Diamond-1989 Blake Baxter-Enjoy the Silence (Inner Sight)-The Sound Republic of Detroit-2004 Chromeo-You’re So Gangsta (Playgroup Remix)-Turbo-2002 Dee Pattern-Who’s the Badman-Hard hands-1991 Lene Lovich-Lucky Number-Stiff-1979 Landlord-I Like It (Blow Out Dub)-Bigshot-1988 Inner City-Praise (Future Sound of London Conceptual)-Ten-1992 Abe Duque-Besame Mucho-White-2004 DJ Pierre Meets Dharma B-Love Talks (Wild Pitch mix)-White-1994 Yello-Soul On Ice (Playgroup mix)-Peacefrog-2004 Vector Lovers-Electrorobotik Disco Pt 1-Soma-2004 React 2 Rhythm-Intoxication (Clubfield Mix)-Guerrilla-1992 Aardvark-Cult Copy Pt.2 (Carl Craig Re-edit)-Rush Hour-2004 T-Coy-Carino-Deconstruction-1987 DSK-I’ll Keep Holding On-Active-1992 Unit 4-Body Dub (Tiefschwarz mix)-Clone-2004 Dave Clarke-Southside-Bush / Decon-1995 Jamie Principal-Baby Wants to Ride (Hurley X Rated Mix)-FFRR-1988

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Records, records, records…I’m surrounded by new music and bouncing back to old things that I’ve forgotten or rediscovered.

On the old stuff, the second Soul Jazz celebration of early Philly stuff, “Philadelphia Roots Vol 2”, is probably better than the first, with long lost and hard to track down early Three Degrees singles, a 1967 pre-Maze, Frankie Beverly single that I’m playing over and over again, and a killer take on Sly’s “Family Affair” by the Family, and a whole raft of early, obscure stuff from the musicians that defined the eternal Philly soul sound of the seventies. So far beyond essential, it’s ridiculous.

From the same label the Gallery comp celebrates the sound of Nicky Siano, who along with Levan, Mancuso, Gibbons and a very few others defined the New York sound that led from soul to funk to disco to garage (and house). The Bill Withers track “Harlem”, and the psycho-Motown duo from The Undisputed Truth & The Temptations that finishes side one are highlights on a really cool collection.

To the twelve inch records, a couple of mid nineties tracks I’m hooked on right now are a white label (actually black & white) from about 94 from DJ Pierre…Dharma Meet DJ Pierre “Love Talks” is a classic, but fairly obscure vocal wild pitcher with a bottom end that throbs somewhere below my sub. The other is the mighty Leftfield dub of React 2 Rhythm’s “Intoxication” on William Orbit’s long missed Guerilla label from back in 91. Druggy proggy nonsense that betrays prog house’s original direct line from wacked out JA dubplates, before it lost its way circa 94. Wicked stuff and with the nice crackle of a much loved tune.

Jumping back even further, I’ve been besotted with the 12” Martin Rushent produced Pete Shelley single “Homosapien” since it came out in 1982 and it gave me a real buzz to fill a dancefloor with it last week. I had a queue of kids asking what it was. See…there is still a place for throbbing gay punk electro in 2004.

Not all records I like are old…honestly….

Going through another big Tiefschwarz thing right now. The mix of Unit 4’s “Body Dub” on Clone buzzes and bubbles along nicely and has almost an italo disco feel so it’s perfectly matched by the sprightly Bangkok Impact mix on side two. I’m still not sick of “Blow” with Eric Clark, but the real killer from the German brothers is their rejected remix of Kelis’ “Trick Me”, a one sided booty version that has somehow slipped out (wonder how?). Snippy acid loops and minimalist dirty bottom end make this a dark electro classic. Love it.

Blake Baxter seems to be a flavour again…poor bugger slips in an out of favour every five years and never really crosses over. His recent Abe Duque collaboration ("What Happened"...record of 2004 so far) has highlighted a Detroit legend who has never really stopped making amazing records. “Poetry & Rhythm Sessions Vol 2” contains a very cool spoken take of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence” which kinda nags at you until you realise what it is.Uber-cool.

Another one I’ve been playing for months is the “Electro-Robotic Disco” single from Vector Lovers on Soma, a lovely lush electronic landscape. I hate the word pretty but its the only word that works here. I’ve got to find the album, but, naturally, in Auckland, finding something like that these days is nigh on impossible.

"Vapour" by Stratus, on the German Klein label is a record I know nothing about but right now its the record I like to put on first thing in the morning when I'm avoiding the tail end of the breakfast radio shows. I keep thinking Can or DAF, and then it goes all lush and goey towards the end.

Locally, Tomorrowpeople's remix of indie Rockers Pluto's track "Dance Stamina" works and is truly inventive, taking the popage of the original to somewhere far more contemporary.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Nothing like a bit of revisionism to keep the wheels spinning, so on that note, I’m well pleased to see Sony have done a glorious 25th (fuck me…25 years since I pinched the sample from CBS!) anniversary reissue of The Clash’s legendary 1979 album “London Calling”. And what a package it is- a remastered album, a CD of recently found demos and a lovely DVD, which I’m watching as I type, including some quite astounding footage of the band at work with legendary production nutter, Guy Stevens. Rolling Stone named the album as the greatest album of the eighties, despite its UK release in ’79 and it was the album that took them towards the mainstream…toward, but not into it. I remember trying to sell it to mainstream punters with no success…it could never compete with Dire Straits or Misex who were both sadly perceived as “new wave”.

And what a wonderful bloody record it was / is. It still sounds as fresh as it did in 1979, some songs more than others……but, and here comes the revisionism….but, the Clash may be the greatest rock’n’roll band ever, post Beatles (they are…full stop…if you disagree, you’re wrong, sorry) however “London Calling”, as much as it stands head and shoulders above virtually every rawk record released since then, comes nowhere close to being the greatest Clash album. That distinction belongs overwhelmingly to their first album, and thence to the mighty “Sandinista”. I’m not belittling this iconic release, I mean it contains the title track (it took my first trip to London in 83 before I really understood what it meant to “live by the river”), Guns of Bloody Brixton, and a whole swag of the like.

But the Rolling Stone award really sums up the problem…its just too Rolling Stone, too Rawk and, at the time of its release there was a noticeable air of disappointment with it. I remember we played the b side of the “London Calling” single, “Armagideon Time” far more than the a. And as I said above, it still sounds fresh today, but in contrast “The Clash” still sounds revolutionary, and “Sandinista” revels in it’s glorious anarchy which was at the heart of the Clash. The singles that followed “London Calling”….”Bankrobber”, “The Call Up”, “The Magnificent Seven / Magnificent Dance”, and “Radio Clash” dwarf 90% of “London Calling”. It was “Bankrobber” and “Complete Control” I reached for on the news of Joe’s death.

I think the Clash consciously made two American records, “London Calling”, which largely worked, and “Combat Rock” which largely didn’t. But The Clash were the great British punk band, with all that implies including a disaffection for the American rock mainstream, and that’s how I’ll always remember them.